Information Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly recognised as a driver and transformer of health practice, including in dentistry.

Social media

Large data sets such as World Health Organization statistics are collected less than once per year, whereas social network platforms offer the opportunity for real-time analysis of expressed mood. Such patterns are valuable to the dental health research community, to help understand the periods and locations of greatest demand and unmet need.

Internet enabled technology

By providing accessible and anonymous prevention the Internet can play an important role in overcoming obstacles for seeking help. Whilst suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 and the tenth most common cause of death overall for Australian males, it is estimated that only 56% of persons with suicidal thoughts are receiving treatment. The most frequently reported barriers for seeking help include attitudinal barriers and low perceived need for treatment. Other factors that may play a role in help negation include shame, fear of losing autonomy and negative attitudes towards health care providers.


Statistics show that less than half of all Australians reporting the symptoms of dental disease seek formal treatment. Despite increased investment and strong evidence showing prevention and intervention save lives, factors like geography, stigma and social circumstance make it hard for people to get help.